Had lunch with a fellow coach yesterday, and we were swapping stories on the twists and turns our different lesson plans can take whenever we engage with a client. We normally will go into an engagement with an intent to teach, however the more open-minded we can manage to be, the more we’ll learn and take away from the experience ourselves, especially when we uncover someone’s hot buttons. I am very fortunate in that my clients generally are already-successful people who want to be even better, and I thoroughly enjoy listening to them talk about a passion they have.
When a leader begins to speak about their personal philosophies, I try hard to shut up. I’ll very consciously switch from coaching on what I know, to questioning them about what they know, and why that knowledge has had such a profound impact on them. In particular, I want to discover why they are so passionate about leadership, management, and business, three subjects I doubt I will ever tire of. I get some of my very best “material” from my clients.
Inevitably, my final questions to them will usually be, “Does your staff truly know how you feel about this? How often do you talk about it with them?” You see, more often than not, the knowledge and learning, sport and fun you give me in my coaching practice should be the stuff your organizational conversations are made of. We all have way more to teach, coach, and mentor others in than we even realize, and we have to learn to share it with an abundance mentality wherein sharing = blossoming = everyone in the same canoe.
As brilliant as my clients can be, these are some of the responses I’ll sometimes get to those final two questions: